Music in the Vale has been very fortunate to have had the support from the Adjudicators listed below in 2015.
We are looking for new Adjudicators each year and would welcome anyone who may be interested to contact us.
In 1973, Ms Murphy began her classical music studies with Dr Veronica Dunne at the Dublin College of Music. From there she joined the Irish National Opera Company. In 1976 the Welsh National Opera Company engaged Ms Murphy as Principal Soprano, a role which led to many acclaimed performances - Ms Murphy sang as Constanze in Il Seraglio, as Violetta in La Traviata, and as Leonora in Il Trovatore. She also performed in the title roles of Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor and Fidelio.
Her reputation as a distinguished lyric dramatic soprano was built up over these years with important engagements for English National Opera, Opera North and the Scottish Opera. Ms Murphy’s international career led to performances at the Munich Opera and the Opéra de Lyon; she sang in Paris, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Vancouver, New York and Tokyo.
Besides her outstanding career as an operatic and concert soprano, Ms Murphy has given generously of her time and energy to teaching and administration. She has been an Artistic Patron of Opera Ireland from 1989 to the present and was a member of the Welsh Arts Council from 1983 to 1986. Ms Murphy’s contribution as performer, administrator and teacher in Wales was recently recognised by the University of Glamorgan which conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Music upon her in 1999.
Ms Murphy’s professional career as an operatic soprano continues to grow in performance. She created the role of June Mathis in the world premiere of The Dream of Valentino by Argento with Washington Opera in 1993. Recent roles in contemporary opera productions of Poulenc’s The Carmelites and Janacek’s Jenufa (filmed by BBC2 on location to be broadcast early in 2001), have been seen in Berlin, the United Kingdom and America.
Gail’s extensive appearances in the UK include PEPIK The Cunning Little Vixen, PERNILLE Maskarade, PAPAGENA Die Zauberflöte, JANO Jenufa, FIRST PRIESTESS Iphigénie en Tauride, DIE STIMME DES FALKENS Die Frau ohne Schatten and BLUMENMÄDCHEN Parsifal for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Her long association with English National Opera includes performances of MUSETTA La Boheme, OBERTO Alcina, NAIAD Ariadne on Naxos, FRASQUITA Carmen, NANETTA Falstaff, SALVATION ARMY GIRL From Morning to Midnight, KAREN A Better Place, POUSSETTE Manon and ALYEYA From the House of the Dead. At Welsh National Opera Gail has sung GILDA Rigoletto, DESPINA Cosi fan tutte, FRASQUITA, OSCAR Un ballo in Maschera, NAIAD Ariadne auf Naxos and CLORINDA La Cenerentola. Gail created the role of MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT GODWIN in the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s Monster for Scottish Opera, a company for whom she has also sung PAMINA The Magic Flute and ASTERIA Tamerlano. Gail has been a regular performer at Opera Holland Park where she has sung GILDA, LISETTE La Rondine, OSCAR and GARSENDA Francesca da Rimini.
For Aldeburgh Festival she appeared as SECOND NIECE Peter Grimes, while for Buxton Festival she has sung NINETTA La finta semplice, ANNE PAGE The Merry Wives of Windsor, ALISON T!he Wandering Scholar and NORA Riders to the Sea.
Other engagements include LISETTE for Opera North, AGILEA Teseo, GILDA and SOPHIE Werther for English Touring Opera, IRIS Semele for Grange Park Opera, and WOGLINDE and !WALDVOGEL in the Longborough Festival Opera’s Ring cycle.
Highlights of her international engagements include a critically acclaimed ANNE TRULOVE The Rake’s Progress for Nantes-Angers Opéra, ARBATE Mitridate at the Théatre du Chatelet, Paris, CAROLINE The Fairy Queen for ENO and Liceu, Barcelona, ERSTER KNAPPE and BLUMENMÄDCHEN Parsifal at the Opéra National de Paris, Bastille, JANO at the Opéra de Lyon, FIRST NIECE, Peter Grimes and ANNE TRULOVE for Opéra de Nancy, and OBERTO for !Opernhaus Zürich.
Gail’s concert work includes many successful collaborations with the Raymond Gubbay organisation both in this country and Europe. With the BBCNOW and Richard Hickox she performed Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, Hoddinott’s A Contemplation Upon Flowers, Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. Gail has sung with the Philharmonia (Hickox and Sawallisch), the Vienna Philharmonic (Mackerras) at the Salzburg Festival, the Academy of Ancient Music (Paul Goodwin) in Poissy and Montreux, and many other concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Bournemouth Symphony !Orchestra and the Early Opera Company (Christian Curnyn) at the Wigmore Hall.
Gail enjoys recital work and has had the pleasure of sharing the recital platform with Llyr Williams, Phillip Thomas, Michael Pollock, Martin Pacey and Andrew Smith, in venues and festivals around t!he UK.
Gail’s recordings include IRIS Semele with the Early Opera Company and Christian Curnyn, JANO with the Royal Opera House (Haitink), Vaughan Williams’s The Poisoned Kiss (BBCNOW/Hickox) and ECHO Ariadne on Naxos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Sir Richard Armstrong. !
Alun F Williams
Alun started playing a brass instrument at the age of 9, joining his local band, Cwm Town Silver. He was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales before going on to study Music at Trent Park College, Middlesex.
He joined the Gwent Music Service in 1978 as a brass peripatetic teacher and was appointed Head of the Brass Department in 1990 and Head of the Music Service in 2009. As Head of Service, Alun represented Wales on the National Federation of Music Services and was also on the Advisory Board for all the National Ensembles of Wales. He is currently the Chairman of the National Youth Brass Band of Wales Advisory Committee.
Alun has recently retired from the Head of Music Service post in August 2014 and is now working on a freelance basis as a music educator, teacher, conductor and adjudicator. Alun recently adjudicated at the Cheltenham Festival of Performing Arts and is looking forward to adjudicating at the Music in the Vale Festival in November.
Alun has received many awards for his work in Music Education and the most significant was being presented the Worshipful Company of Musicians ‘Mortimer Medal’ at the Symphony Hall, Birmingham in 2005.
Rhiannon Williams-Hale FLCM LLCM ALCM LRSM LTCL ATCL LGSMD:
Born in Cardiff and raised in Barry, Rhiannon received piano tuition at the Royal Academy of Music London (ABRSM scholarship) before studying music at Cardiff University as a 'David Lloyd' entrance scholar.
Rhiannon's career began as a singer, winning the prestigious '1989 BET National Choirgirl of the year Competition' held in London.
She became a member of the National Youth Choirs of Wales & Great Britain, a violinist with the SGYO & received tuition as a p/t scholarship holder at the RWCMD - achieving Grade 8, the RSCM St Cecilia senior award and LTCL diploma in Voice.
A Fellow of the London College of Music in piano accompaniment, Rhiannon has also achieved her LLCM ALCM LRSM ATCL & LGSMD - all with distinctions.
Rhiannon became principal accompanist to the renowned 'Treorchy Male Choir' in 1998 (Honorary 'lady' member since 2008), the 'Bridgend Male Choir' and then to the highly respected Pontarddulais & Llanelli Male voice Choirs. During this period she had the priviledge of accompanying many fine soloists including Alfie Boe, Rebecca Evans, Shan Cothi & Elin Manahan Thomas to name a few, made regular recordings and has also toured with these choirs to Australia, America, Canada, Germany, Spain & Northern Ireland.
Rhiannon is currently the Musical Director of the 'Bridgend Male Choir' (since 2012) and last July they were the proud winners of the renowned Male Choir competition at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.
A Vice President of the 'Phoenix Singers' ladies choir & a patron of Haverfordwest MVC, Rhiannon was also the MD of Ynysybwl Ladies choir over a ten year period & is currently conducting Cwmbach MVC. She is also a percussionist with the Parc & Dare brass band & works for the 'Loud Applause' production agency.
As event-organiser & coordinator of the Treorchy Eisteddfod since 2012 - where she now resides, Rhiannon has been a successful private tutor for over 20 years & is presently employed full time for the local government, working in Bridgend as an organist.
Rhiannon was on the panel of adjudicators at the Finals of the 'Rotary Young Musician of Wales' (held at the Millenium Centre, Cardiff in 2009), 'Cardiff High School Young Musician of the year', 'Bridgend County School Choir of the Year' competitions and has also adjudicated at the 'Abergavenny Eisteddfod' and regular Semi-finals of the Treorchy Male Choir Young Musician/Singer of the Year Competitions'. She is looking forward to adjudicating at the wonderful Music in the Vale competition this weekend - a contest which has a special place in her heart - as a former official accompanist/committee member in the 90's.